Brendan Dassey, one of the men whose criminal cases was examined in Netflix documentary Making a Murderer, has had his murder conviction overturned by a US federal judge.
26-year-old Dassey, who was convicted along with his uncle, Steven Avery, for the murder of Teresa Halback in 2005. The pair were sentenced to life in prison but the new ruling means that Dassey will be released within the next 90 days, provided the state doesn’t attempt to retry him or an appeal is launched, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Judge William Duffin found that during the original trial in 2007, investigators had made false promises to Dassey while questioning him, and ultimately violated his constitutional rights.
“These repeated false promises, when considered in conjunction with all relevant factors, most especially Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the Fifth and 14th Amendments,” the judge said in his court report.
The makers of the smash hit Netflix documentary released a statement to Entertainment Weekly following the ruling.
“Today there was a major development for the subjects in our story, and this recent news shows the criminal justice system at work”, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos said. “As we have done for the past 10 years, we will continue to document the story as it unfolds, and follow it wherever it may lead.”